Siddaganga Mutt: Burning desire to feed the hungry

Siddaganga Mutt: Burning desire to feed the hungry

The very mention of Siddaganga Mutt conjures up images of a congregation of thousands of students - from nursery to UG courses - for morning and evening prayers, centenarian seer Shivakumara Swami performing the Ishtalinga Puja, taking a stroll around the Mutt, looking at the accounts and reading newspapers without reading glasses. And of course, the students partaking in 'prasada' and performing the tasks assigned to them with army-like discipline. 

In fact, the Siddaganga Mutt under Shivakumara Swami has shaped the lives of many of the poor and the downtrodden through 'Anna' (food) and 'Vidya Dasoha' (education), the very tradition of Virakta Mutts.

The tradition of 'Anna' and 'Akshara Dasoha' was introduced on a small scale long ago by Uddana Swami. Today, over 9,500 students and 2,000 to 3,000 devotees partake in the prasada three times a day, thanks to Shivakumara Swami's vision and commitment to serve the needy and his untiring efforts to make it happen.

Providing free food and education to over 9,500 students every single day for decades, with minimal support from the government, is nothing short of a miracle.

Well, Shivakumara Swami was no MBA graduate or financial expert but he had a vision and a commitment to serve the needy. Initially, the seer endured a torrid time to raise money and material to meet expenses. The never-say-die seer walked for miles, attended 15 to 20 Padapujas a day, tilled small plots of lands donated by the devotees and begged for grains to feed the students from local farmers and landlords.

Over a period of time, things started to fall in place. Students of the Mutt, who made it big in their chosen fields, showed gratitude with generous contributions. And added to that were donations and offerings made by devotees and the farmers in Tumakuru district and beyond.

The fire lit in the Mutt's kitchen decades ago is still burning, feeding thousands of hungry souls. The seer always ensured that nobody - be they students or devotees visiting the mutt - went hungry. Prasada is served to even those devotees who visit the Mutt past midnight

The students at the Mutt, from nursery to postgraduation, are served a breakfast and two meals a day. 

The seer himself had prepared the menu for the children to ensure that they are sufficiently nourished. A glass of milk along with a mixture of horse gram, ragi and wheat powder is given at 7 a.m. to children who are in Class I to III to ensure that they do not suffer from malnutrition.

While Basavanna brought in reforms with his ideals of equality and social justice through his Anubhava Mantapa in the 12th century, Shivakumara Swami ushered in a silent revolution with his ceaseless and untiring efforts at his Anubhava Mantapa named Siddaganga Mutt.

Watch this video to know more about the Basava Philosophy

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